Episode 667: Teenaged DreamJesseís mom opened the door. Caroline started to smile. She figured smiling was the polite thing to do, only the circumstances werenít anything to smile over, so she stopped and simply said hello.
"Are you selling cookies or something?" Jesseís mom asked. She was a small woman, thin, and younger than the mom of a teenager usually was. Despite her fiery red hair, her slight frame and girlish face made her appear vulnerable to someone gearing up to drop a bomb on the woman.
Caroline wished she could have delivered the news over the phone, but you couldnít say something potentially scary over the phone, so she was stuck. "Is your husband home?"
"He is, but really, if youíre here peddling cookies or candy or something like that for your school, I canít help you out," Jesseís mom continued. "My littlest guy is still at the table refusing to eat his veggies. Itís supposed to mean Iím a good mom if I force him to do that sort of thing, but Iím not always that good," she smiled exactly like Jesse, "and if there are cookies around Iím bound to give in to his begging."
"Iím actually not selling anything." Caroline swallowed hard and wrung her hands. "Iím here to talk to you and your husband."
"Are you a neighbor? You look like the kind of girl who studies. This is about Nate drumming on everything in sight lately, right? The noise carried and itís messing with your concentration. Well, donít worry, heís annoyed the daylights out of everyone here, too, ten minutes ago I told him if he doesnít give it a rest heíll only eat vegetables for the rest of his life, so Iím pretty sure thatís taken care of-"
"Iím actually not a neighbor either. Iím Caroline." Caroline was disappointed to see the lack of recognition on the womanís face, to realize Jesse hadnít mentioned her to his mom, but it just showed that she shouldnít have made too much of that kiss, she shouldnít let it mess with her judgment.
"Hey, Mom, I-" Jesseís voice dropped as he walked into the room and saw her. "Caroline."
"You know her." His mom said. "Please tell me you havenít done something wrong, Jess. Iíve really liked my delusions that youíre a much better kid than I was. Why does Caroline need to talk to us?"
"I-" Jesse stepped right up to Caroline, and pleaded with his eyes. "She wanted to meet you because sheís my girlfriend." He leaned in and he kissed her. Again.
Caroline knew he was trying to manipulate her. To her shame, she also knew the manipulation was working.